Why Are My Calla Lily Leaves Turning Yellow? (13 Solutions)

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Calla lily plants are grown for their beautiful flowers, which come in various colors.

The foliage of these plants is also attractive, with long, lance-shaped leaves that are usually green.

However, sometimes calla lily leaves turn yellow.

This can be due to several reasons, including nutrient deficiencies, pests, or disease.

Here are 13 possible reasons why your calla lily leaves are turning yellow and what you can do about it.

What Causes Calla Lily Leaves to Turn Yellow? (And How To Fix It)

Are your calla lily leaves turning yellow?

If so, don’t worry – you’re not alone.

Many calla lily growers have experienced this problem at one time or another.

The good news is that, in most cases, it’s easy to fix.

Here are some of the most common causes of yellowing calla lily leaves, along with solutions for each one.

1. Overwatering

Overwatering is one of the most common reasons for calla lily leaves turning yellow.

Calla lily plants are native to Africa and grow in marshes and swampy areas.

As a result, they’re used to growing in wet conditions.

However, too much water can be just as harmful to calla lilies as too little.

When the soil is constantly wet, it can lead to root rot, eventually killing the plant.

Overwatering is caused by several factors, including:

  • Using a pot that’s too small. If the pot is too small, the roots won’t have enough room to grow and will become waterlogged.
  • Not draining the excess water from the saucer after watering. Excess water should be drained, so the roots don’t sit in it.
  • Watering too often. Calla lilies should only be watered when the soil is dry to the touch.

How To Tell If You’re Overwatering Your Calla Lilies

There are several signs that you may be overwatering your calla lilies, including:

  • Yellow leaves. One of the first signs of overwatering is yellow leaves.
  • Drooping leaves. If the leaves are drooping, it’s a sign that the plant is not getting enough oxygen.
  • Mushy or soft leaves. If the leaves are mushy or soft, it’s a sign that they’re rotting.
  • Slow growth. If the plant is not growing as quickly as it should be, it may be due to overwatering.
  • Fungal growth. If you see mold or mildew on the leaves, it’s a sign that the plant is too wet.

How To Fix Overwatering

If you think you may be overwatering your calla lilies, there are several things you can do to fix the problem, including:

  • Use a pot with drainage holes. This will allow the excess water to drain away from the roots.
  • Water less often. Only water the calla lilies when the soil is dry to the touch.
  • Let the soil dry out before watering again. If the soil is still wet, wait a few days before watering again.
  • Repot the calla lilies. If the roots are waterlogged, they may need to be repotted in fresh, dry soil.
  • Cut back on watering. If you’re watering the calla lilies too often, cut back to once a week or less.
  • Aerate the soil. If the soil is compacted, it may need to be aerated to allow the roots to breathe.
  • Use a well-draining soil. Calla lilies need a well-draining soil, so the roots don’t become waterlogged.
  • Amend the soil with perlite. Perlite is a type of volcanic glass that helps to improve drainage.
  • Amend the soil with sand. Sand also helps to improve drainage and can be added to the soil before planting.
  • Prune damaged leaves. If the leaves are yellow or brown, they may need to be pruned off to allow the plant to focus its energy on new growth.

2. Underwatering

While overwatering is a common problem, underwatering is also a significant cause of calla lily leaves turning yellow.

Calla lilies need to be kept moist but not soggy.

If the soil is too dry, it can cause the leaves to turn yellow and eventually drop off.

Underwatering is often caused by:

  • Not watering enough. Calla lilies should be watered when the soil is dry to the touch.
  • Using a pot that’s too big. If the pot is too big, the roots will have too much room to grow and dry out.
  • Rootbound calla lilies. If the calla lilies are rootbound, they may not be getting enough water.
  • Hot, dry weather. Calla lilies need to be watered more often in hot, dry weather.

How To Tell If You’re Underwatering Your Calla Lilies

There are several signs that you may be underwatering your calla lilies, including:

  • Yellow leaves. One of the first signs of underwatering is yellow leaves.
  • Drooping leaves. If the leaves are drooping, it’s a sign that the plant is not getting enough water.
  • Brown or crispy leaves. If the leaves are brown or crispy, it’s a sign that they’re not getting enough moisture.
  • Slow growth. If the plant is not growing as quickly as it should be, it may be due to underwatering.

How To Fix Underwatering

If you think you may be underwatering your calla lilies, there are several things you can do to fix the problem, including:

  • Water more often. Calla lilies should be watered when the soil is dry to the touch.
  • Use a smaller pot. If the pot is too big, the roots will have too much room to grow and dry out.
  • Transplant calla lilies. If the calla lilies are rootbound, they may need to be transplanted to a larger pot.
  • Mulch the calla lilies. Mulching helps to retain moisture in the soil and can be done with straw, bark, or leaves.
  • Group calla lilies together. Grouping calla lilies together helps to create a microclimate that retains moisture.
  • Water in the morning. Watering in the morning helps the calla lilies to absorb moisture before the sun gets too hot.

3. Pest Infestation

Pests are another common problem that can cause calla lily leaves to turn yellow.

There are a few different pests that are known to attack calla lilies, including:

  • Aphids. Aphids are small, green insects that feed on the sap of plants. They are often found on the undersides of leaves.
  • Spider mites. Spider mites are tiny spider-like creatures that feed on the sap of plants. They leave behind small webbing on the leaves.
  • Thrips. Thrips are small, winged insects that feed on the sap of plants. They can cause calla lily leaves to turn yellow or brown and may also cause flowers to drop off.
  • Mealybugs. Mealybugs are small, white insects that feed on the sap of plants. They often leave behind a sticky residue on the leaves.

How To Tell If You Have A Pest Infestation

There are several signs that you may have a pest infestation, including:

  • Yellow or brown leaves. One of the first signs of a pest infestation is yellow or brown leaves.
  • Sticky residue on the leaves. If you see a sticky residue on the leaves, it may be mealybugs.
  • Small webbing on the leaves. If you see small webbing on the leaves, it may be spider mites.
  • Small holes in the leaves. If you see small holes in the leaves, it may be aphids or thrips.
  • Slow growth. If the plant is not growing as quickly as it should be, it may be due to a pest infestation.

How To Get Rid Of Pests

If you think you may have a pest infestation, there are several things you can do to get rid of the pests, including:

  • Use insecticidal soap. Insecticidal soap is a safe and effective way to get rid of aphids, spider mites, and thrips.
  • Use neem oil. Neem oil is an effective natural insecticide against aphids, spider mites, and thrips.
  • Use horticultural oil. Horticultural oil is a safe and effective way to get rid of aphids, spider mites, and thrips.
  • Use diatomaceous earth. Diatomaceous earth is a natural substance that can be used to kill aphids, spider mites, and thrips.

4. Fungal Disease

Fungal diseases are another common problem that can cause calla lily leaves to turn yellow.

The two most common fungal diseases that affect calla lilies are powdery mildew and botrytis.

Powdery mildew is a white powdery fungus that appears on the leaves and stems of plants. Botrytis is a grayish-white fungus that affects the flowers and leaves of plants.

How To Tell If You Have A Fungal Disease

There are several signs that you may have a fungal disease, including:

  • Yellow or brown leaves. One of the first signs of a fungal infection is yellow or brown leaves.
  • White powder on the leaves. If you see a white powder on the leaves, it may be powdery mildew.
  • Grayish-white fungus on the flowers and leaves. It may be botrytis if you see a grayish-white fungus on the flowers and leaves.
  • Slow growth. If the plant is not growing as quickly as it should be, it may be due to a fungal disease.

How To Get Rid Of Fungal Diseases

If you think you may have a fungal disease, there are several things you can do to get rid of the fungus, including:

  • Use a fungicide. Many different fungicides are effective against powdery mildew and botrytis.
  • Destroy affected leaves. Remove any leaves that are affected by the fungus and destroy them.
  • Improve air circulation. Improve air circulation around the plant to help prevent the fungus from spreading.
  • Avoid overwatering. Overwatering the plant can worsen the problem, so be sure to water only when the soil is dry.

5. Poor Drainage

Poor drainage is another common problem that can cause calla lily leaves to turn yellow.

Calla lilies need well-drained soil to thrive.

If the soil is too wet, it can cause the roots to rot. This can lead to yellow or brown leaves.

How To Tell If You Have Poor Drainage

There are several signs that you may have poor drainage, including:

  • Yellow or brown leaves. One of the first signs of poor drainage is yellow or brown leaves.
  • Root rot. If the plant’s roots are rotting, it may be due to poor drainage.
  • Waterlogged soil. If the soil is waterlogged, it may be due to poor drainage.

How To Improve Drainage

If you think you may have poor drainage, there are several things you can do to improve it, including:

  • Use a well-draining potting soil mix. Be sure to use a potting mix that drains well.
  • Add organic matter. Adding organic matter to the soil can help improve drainage.
  • Amend the soil. If the soil is heavy clay, you may need to amend it with sand or perlite to improve drainage.
  • Use a pot with drainage holes. Be sure to use a pot that has drainage holes in the bottom.

6. Nutrient Deficiencies

Nutrient deficiencies are another common cause for calla lily leaves to turn yellow.

Calla lilies need certain nutrients to thrive. If they don’t get enough of these nutrients, it can lead to yellow leaves.

The most common nutrient deficiencies that affect calla lilies are nitrogen and iron.

How To Tell If You Have A Nutrient Deficiency

There are several signs that you may have a nutrient deficiency, including:

  • Yellow leaves. One of the first signs of a nutrient deficiency is yellow leaves.
  • Slow growth. If the plant is not growing as quickly as it should be, it may be due to a nutrient deficiency.
  • Small leaves. If the leaves are smaller than they should be, it may be due to a nutrient deficiency.

How To Fix A Nutrient Deficiency

If you think you may have a nutrient deficiency, there are several things you can do to fix it, including:

  • Use a fertilizer. Be sure to use a fertilizer that is high in nitrogen and iron.
  • Add organic matter. Adding organic matter to the soil can help improve the nutrient content.
  • Amend the soil. If the soil lacks nutrients, you may need to amend it with compost or manure.
  • Repot the plant. If the potting mix lacks nutrients, you may need to repot the plant in a fresh potting mix.

7. Overfertilization

Overfertilization is another common problem that can cause calla lily leaves to turn yellow.

If you fertilize the plant too much, it can lead to a build-up of nutrients in the soil. This can cause the leaves to turn yellow or brown.

How To Tell If You Have Overfertilized

There are several signs that you may have overfertilized, including:

  • Yellow or brown leaves. One of the first signs of overfertilization is yellow or brown leaves.
  • Burning of the leaves. If the leaves of the plant are starting to turn brown or black, it may be due to overfertilization.
  • Damaged roots. If the plant’s roots are damaged, it may be due to overfertilization.
  • Leaching of the soil. If the nutrients in the soil are leaching out, it may be due to overfertilization.

How To Fix Overfertilization

If you think you may have overfertilized, there are several things you can do to fix it, including:

  • Flush the soil. Be sure to flush the soil with plenty of water to remove any excess fertilizer.
  • Cut back on fertilizer. Don’t fertilize as often or use as much fertilizer.
  • Repot the plant. If the potting mix is too high in nutrients, you may need to repot the plant in fresh soil.

8. Lack of Light

Another common problem that can cause calla lily leaves to turn yellow is a lack of light.

Calla lilies need plenty of light to thrive. If they don’t get enough light, it can lead to yellow leaves.

Light also affects the amount of chlorophyll in the leaves. Chlorophyll is what gives leaves their green color.

If the plant doesn’t get enough light, it can cause the leaves to turn yellow.

How To Tell If You Have A Light Deficiency

There are several signs that you may have a light deficiency, including:

  • Yellow leaves. One of the first signs of a light deficiency is yellow leaves.
  • Leggy stems. If the plant’s stems are long and thin, it may be due to a light deficiency.
  • Slow growth. If the plant is not growing as quickly as it should be, it may be due to a light deficiency.
  • Small leaves. If the leaves are smaller than they should be, it may be due to a light deficiency.

How To Fix A Light Deficiency

If you think you may have a light deficiency, there are several things you can do to fix it, including:

  • Move the plant. Be sure to move the plant to a location with plenty of light.
  • Provide artificial light. If the plant is not getting enough natural light, you may need to provide artificial light.
  • Prune the plant. If the plant is too dense, it may not be getting enough light. Pruning can help improve the plant’s ability to absorb light.
  • Place near a window. If the plant is not near a window, consider moving it closer to one.

9. Too Much Sunlight

While calla lilies need plenty of light, too much sunlight can cause problems.

If the plant gets too much sun, it can scorch the leaves and cause them to turn yellow or brown.

Calla lilies need plenty of light, but they also need protection from the harsh midday sun.

How To Tell If You Have Too Much Sunlight

There are several signs that you may have too much sunlight, including:

  • Yellow or brown leaves. One of the first signs of too much sunlight is yellow or brown leaves.
  • Scorched leaves. If the leaves of the plant are starting to turn brown or black, it may be due to too much sunlight.
  • Damaged flowers. If the calla lily flowers are damaged, it may be due to too much sunlight.

How To Fix Too Much Sunlight

If you think you may have too much sunlight, there are several things you can do to fix it, including:

  • Move the plant. Be sure to move the plant to a location with partial sun or filtered light.
  • Provide shade. If the plant is in full sun, you may need to provide some partial shade, such as with an umbrella or cloth.
  • Place on an east- or west-facing windowsill. If the plant is on a south-facing windowsill, consider moving it to an east- or west-facing windowsill.

10. Low Humidity

Calla lilies prefer high humidity and will not do well in low humidity.

If the air is too dry, it can cause the plant’s leaves to turn yellow.

When the air is too dry, it can also cause the leaves to drop off the plant.

How To Tell If You Have Low Humidity

There are several signs that you may have low humidity, including:

  • Yellow leaves. One of the first signs of low humidity is yellow leaves.
  • Dry leaves. If the leaves of the plant are dry and brittle, it may be due to low humidity.
  • Dropping leaves. If the leaves of the plant are falling off, it may be due to low humidity.

How To Fix Low Humidity

If you think you may have low humidity, there are several things you can do to fix it, including:

  • Group plants together. Placing several calla lilies together can help increase the humidity around the plants.
  • Use a humidifier. A humidifier can help add moisture to the air and increase the humidity around the plant.
  • Place on a pebble tray. Placing the plant on a tray of pebbles and water can help increase the humidity around the plant.

11. Temperature Stress

Calla lilies prefer warm temperatures and will not do well in cold temperatures.

If the temperature drops too low, it can cause the plant leaves to turn yellow or brown.

It can also cause the plant’s flowers to wilt and drop off.

How To Tell If You Have Temperature Stress

There are several signs that you may have temperature stress, including:

  • Yellow or brown leaves. One of the first signs of temperature stress is yellow or brown leaves.
  • Wilted flowers. The plant’s flowers are wilting may be due to temperature stress.
  • Dropping flowers. If the plant’s flowers are falling off, it may be due to temperature stress.

How To Fix Temperature Stress

If you think you may have temperature stress, there are several things you can do to fix it, including:

  • Move the plant. Be sure to move the plant to a warm location and protect it from drafts.
  • Use a heat lamp. If the plant is in a cold room, you may need to use a heat lamp to raise the temperature around the plant.
  • Place on a south-facing windowsill. If the plant is on a north-facing windowsill, consider moving it to a south-facing windowsill.

12. Transplant Shock

Transplant shock is a condition that can occur when a plant is transplanted from one location to another.

This can happen when you move the plant to a new pot or replant it in the ground.

Transplant shock can cause the leaves of the plant to turn yellow or brown and can cause the plant to wilt.

How To Tell If You Have Transplant Shock

There are several signs that you may have transplant shock, including:

  • Yellow or brown leaves. One of the first signs of transplant shock is yellow or brown leaves.
  • Wilting. If the plant is wilting, it may be due to transplant shock.
  • Slow growth. If the plant is not growing as quickly as before, it may be due to transplant shock.

How To Fix Transplant Shock

If you think you may have transplant shock, there are several things you can do to fix it, including:

  • Don’t water after transplanting. After transplanting, it’s important not to water the plant for several days. This will allow the plant to adjust to its new location without being watered.
  • Move to a shaded location. Be sure to move the plant to a shady area and out of direct sunlight.
  • Give the plant time. Be sure to give the plant time to adjust to its new location. This can take several weeks or even months.

13. Natural Causes

In some cases, the yellowing of calla lily leaves may be due to natural causes.

This can happen when the plant is going through its natural life cycle or experiencing a change in season.

If you think the yellowing of your calla lily leaves is due to natural causes, there is no need to worry.

The plant will eventually return to its normal color.

How To Tell If The Yellowing Is Due To Natural Causes

There are several signs that the yellowing leaves of a calla lily plant is due to natural causes, including:

  • The plant is in dormancy. One of the first signs that the yellowing is due to natural causes is if the plant is in dormancy. This usually happens in the winter months.
  • The plant is experiencing a change in season. If the plant is yellowing in the fall or spring, it may be due to a change in season.
  • The plant is going through its natural life cycle. If the plant is yellowing in the summer, it may be due to its natural life cycle.

How To Fix The Yellowing Caused By Natural Causes

There is no need to fix the yellowing caused by natural causes. The plant will eventually return to its normal color.

If you are concerned about the plant, you can try to improve the growing conditions. This may help the plant to return to its normal color sooner.

Final Thoughts

Growing calla lilies is relatively easy, but yellowing leaves can be a sign of trouble.

If you notice your calla lily leaves turning yellow, it could be due to several reasons, including pests, disease, or poor growing conditions.

To troubleshoot, examine the plant closely for signs of pests or disease.

If you don’t see any, check the growing conditions and make sure the plant gets enough light, water, and nutrients.

In most cases, yellowing calla lily leaves can be fixed with a few simple changes.

With proper care, calla lilies will thrive and produce beautiful blooms for many years.